Friday, January 17, 2020

Gentleman's Relish 1828

A few weeks ago Nic purchased a cute little pot with pheasants on the top.  At lunch we discovered the inside text. Nic suggested it may be something nice to research and make. 
To our modern thinking we assumed that it would be a plant based relish, as we had only ever experienced tomato or beetroot relish. We were very surprised to find that Gentleman's Relish was anchovy based and also goes by the names 'Potted Anchovies' and 'Patum Peperium'. I was unable to find the original recipe from 1828, but I was able to find many various recipes published post 1828. These recipes are all very similar, with small changes.  Following is our summarised version. 
With a mortar and pestle pound 3.5oz of anchovies and 2.5oz of butter until smooth. 
To this add:
Tablespoon of white breadcrumbs;
1/8th of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper;
Pinch of mace;
Pinch of ginger;
Pinch of cinnamon;
Pinch of nutmeg and
A pinch of ground black pepper
I then potted the mix and sealed it with 2-3mm of melted butter before refrigerating. Later, I will also cover the pots with waxed cloth. This recipe does require being stored in a cool location. 
I love anchovies and this relish had a very nice flavour with a mild spice flavour once the anchovy and butter flavours dissolve.  It was surprisingly not as overpowering as I had thought it would be. Nic is not a fan of anchovies,  but even he found it quite nice and is looking forward to trying it on scrambled eggs.

**Edit - so the next morning Nic was kind enough to make scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast.  The relish was delicious, but strong.  I would definately advise using sparingly if you are not a huge fan of anchovies. 

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